Andy Downing, For RedEye
3:41 PM CDT, April 15, 2012
Despite the fact that no one in Gemini Club is actually a gemini by birth, a section on geminitraits.org that discusses the personality traits common to the star sign reads as if it could be describing the effect of the trio's dance-rock output. For example: "They are almost always the ones who make an event a particularly lively occasion."
Bandmates Tom Gavin, 28, and Dan Brunelle, 25, (both of Wicker Park) and Gordon Bramli, 25, (of West Town) have been making electronic music together for about three years. They perform at Lincoln Hall this weekend in support of their latest EP, "Here We Sit," a pulsating effort that should appeal to fans of now-defunct LCD Soundsystem. By phone, the bandmates opened up about their dance skills (or lack thereof), a particularly harrowing experience with the paranormal and why no two shows are ever the same
The new EP is called "Here We Sit," yet it sounds designed almost exclusively for movement.
Tom Gavin: Everybody always has these questions about what's going on with us. They want to know, "What's up with the computers? What's up with Gordon's rig? Is it electronic? Is this a real band?" And this was just kind of our statement. It was like, "Here it is. This is where we're at right now."
Considering the style of music you make, how would you rate your abilities as dancers?
Gavin: (Laughs) As dancers? Dan is the best dancer in the band. I kind of just scramble around up there.
Dan Brunelle: Gordon has some pretty nifty DJ hand moves.
Gordon Bramli: Yeah, I've got the Swedish Mafia 101 look (laughs). We're terrible dancers all around, I think.
Gavin: That's kind of why you became a DJ, right? Because you can't dance.
Most of you come from more rock-oriented backgrounds. What inspired you to pursue an electronic sound with this band?
Brunelle: I've been into electronic music since I was a little kid, like, I used the MTV Music Generator on Playstation when I was 11 years old. Gordon is the same way. I guess it was something where I never saw those two things aligning. There was the stuff I did on my laptop and then the stuff I did with a live band. Then somewhere between all the geeky, YouTube gear-demo videos and Justice and LCD Soundsystem, live electronics started to become really interesting. I think we saw potential for a laptop-oriented performance to come across in that same visceral way a rock band does.
Is it true Gemini Club shows are like snowflakes, in that no two are completely alike?
Brunelle: Yes, there's a lot of room for experimentation and improvisation. The main thing we want to get across is nothing is automatic. We want to make sure that absolutely everything is happening in real time.
Gavin: That's why we turn our keyboards outwards. If you go to the show the keyboards are angled out towards the audience, so if Gordon launches a clip everybody sees it. We want people to know it's a very high-risk scenario we put ourselves in.
You put out a single called "Ghost." Have any of you ever had an encounter with the paranormal?
Gavin: (Laughs) Once when I was a kid I thought I saw a ghost in the hallway.
Brunelle: I have a ghost story.
Gavin: You do?
Brunelle: This is when I was a kid in high school. I was up in my room--probably playing video games--and I heard a clatter downstairs. So I go running down there and a can of wood stain that was up on this very high shelf had somehow fallen off and it was just everywhere in the room. It looked like someone had pulled it off the shelf and shaken it all around. It was on the ceiling and the floors and every wall. To this day I have no clue what the hell happened. My parents thought I did it, and I had to explain to them it was a ghost (laughs).
I bet you actually did it, and now you're just trying to get that lie in print so you can show it to your folks like, "See!"
Brunelle: (Laughs) "I'm clean! See, it's printed, pops!" No, I swear to god I think that house was haunted.
When: 10 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $10, 773-525-2508
Gemini Club personality test
What's the last album you bought?
Gavin: "With real money? Or with bit torrent money? The new Beach House record, 'Bloom'"
Song you've listened to on repeat recently?
Gavin: "Lana Del Rey over and over. I just discovered that song."
Brunelle: "That's an artist. Not a song. It's 'Video Games.'"
Song you never want to hear again?
Gavin: "Rebecca Black's 'Friday'"
Best concert you've seen in the last year?
Gavin: "I saw A Place to Bury Strangers recently at Empty Bottle and that was sweet."
Bramli: "Or a local band, Vamos, they're pretty good."
Brunelle: "Netherfriends is really awesome, too."
New band you don't know personally that deserves to be big?
Brunelle: "I mean, we just met them down at South by Southwest, but the Burning Hotels from Fort Worth, Texas are sweet and they should be big."
Favorite movie ever?
Brunelle: "2001: A Space Odyssey"
Gavin: "That's mine, too, actually."
Chicago's best music venue?
Gavin: "Lincoln Hall."
Brunelle: "And we're not just saying that because we're playing there. We're playing there because we actually think that."
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